I can’t seem to let my fairy tales go. And Snow-white seemed to be peeping out of her cottage when I last browsed through LinkedIn and saw some glaring gaffes that people were making in their social media communications.Seriously this can dwarf your social media impact and make you go from Happy to Dopey and Grumpy. Check whether you’re making any of these 7 common mistakes.
1. The wrong message for the medium Is what you’re sharing not right for the people who are reading it? Your audiences on Facebook and LinkedIn are different. And their reasons for being there are different too. This may sound odd but pictures of your niece’s 5th birthday or cute kitten videos are meant for Facebook not LinkedIn. You making faces? Instagram it. Sharing your insights on the marketing summit you attended? LinkedIn is where the people will listen to you. Then again, unless your name is Socrates or Plato, avoid putting up philosophical statements and pithy proverbs on LinkedIn. (Yes, a Steve Jobs statement is fine). By the same logic, your profile pic on LinkedIn should ideally not be the one you shared on Instagram last week from the beach! Sounds basic or patronizing? Scroll up and down your pages and you’ll see how many people get that wrong.
2. Your links don’t work I’ve done this myself. In my excitement to publish my latest blogpost, I just copied the link on my tweet and pasted it, leaving out a vital character. Fortunately moments after I shared it I decided to check the link. And it was not working. Nothing sets you back in social-media-savvy status as a link that does not work. And when it does finally work, it’s unlikely that your audience is coming back to check it out again. A lost audience is lost forever.
3. Typos and grammatical errors Here’s the thing, and disagree if you like, if you have chosen to write in English, it needs to be correct English. Typos just showcase you as being lazy and careless. And grammatically wrong English can once again set you back in your social media reputation. Also, needless to say incorrect punctuation could lead to misinterpretation. Check, recheck your writing. Proof read, if not once, at least two times. It’s a must and you owe it to your readers.
4. No point of view It’s a sharing economy now. And when you write posts or share on social media you are not a reporter really. You’re sharing a point of view. Unless it’s a piece of news that you are sharing, you need to state where you stand. If your post or statement does not have a point of view, it’s not really worth sharing. On the flip side, it’s not engaging your readers either.
5. No clarity Time and again you come across a verbose post that rambles on and on and does not make a clear statement. You may have a point of view, but if you have no clarity or are not expressing it clearly, it’s lost in the woods. It’s really like not having a point of view. In this case, start again, re-read Point 4.
6. Wrong Tone of Voice This is subtle but important. What are you writing about? Coaching? Are you a coach? Then your tone can be authoritative. Coaching again? But you are being coached. Your tone needs to be that of an eager learner. Are you talking about your learnings in the last marketing campaign you spearheaded? Here’s sharing from an experienced person. These are the right tones of voice to take. Get patronizing and preachy and you lose that connect. Get flippant and you lose credibility. Get the right tone. Get read. And get the necessary impact.
7. Too long
And it’s fortunate this comes at the end, because today’s currency is time. And if your post is too long, it’s less likely to get read. Too long-winded, it’s less likely to get read. Too verbose, it’s less likely to get read. So ideally, keep it short. Add subheads. Get to the point. Quickly. If you do have a lot to say, break it up in a couple of posts. Link back to the previous one. Chances are all will be read, and even if not, you’ve made a point in each one.
And so let’s aim for a fairy tale ending to your social media impact and may your impact be gigantic!